God the Father in your merciful love you give us everything, everything – as a gift. Walk, please, with me, when I am looking for love – Your love. When I am looking for my place in the world today, which may be in the back row, I want to maintain peace within oneself, because you have given me everything. Be with me also to teach me how to deal with your gifts.
Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to Matthew 5:1-12
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Thoughts on the Gospel
In today’s Gospel Matthew 5:1-12; Jesus uses the word blessed nine times. He begins his Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The Beatitudes are the good news and not some moral rules. In the beautiful Orthodox worship, they are sung at every Mass. We should also proclaim them with joy to the whole world as well.
Where is the reason for the blessedness of Jesus, and what are its foundations? It is based on the gift of God, on what God is doing and promises. God’s gifts are not the result or reward for our work, but vice versa. Our working is the response to God’s gift. Only when we accept Christ and his redemptive work, can we be poor, merciful, peaceful, etc. Therefore, we could also say: Blessed are those whose is the kingdom of heaven, because they can be poor in spirit.
With the Kingdom, they have everything, they do not need to relate to wealth or anything else. They may be poor and humble. Blessed are those who will be comforted. In the consciousness of divine consolation, they can feel and be in solidarity with the sad and the weeping.
Blessed are those who inherit the land, because they can be meek. They do not need to be violent because they were promised the everlasting home.
Blessed are those who will be righteousness, because they will be able to work with all forces for justice. Blessed are those who will reach mercy and forgiveness, because they can be compassionate to their neighbour. Blessed are those who will see God, because they can be pure in their heart. If the human heart was made to see God, why would we attach our hearts on the things that vanish and disappear? Blessed are those who become children of God, because they can work for peace. God will accept them in his family, and thus they can have all the people, even enemies for brothers and sisters. And again, blessed are those, whose is the kingdom of heaven, because they can tolerate the persecution.
Adoption of the kingdom of Christ and of His promises, therefore qualifies us for all the listed evangelical posture. We handle incorrectly if we try only with our strength and efforts to earn the kingdom of heaven. It is work without success. It makes us nervous and unhappy, anxious and even frustrated. It’s merely moralising. Duke Mishkin, one of the heroes of the writer Dostoyevsky, wanted to live the Beatitudes, but without God. He wanted to imitate the patient and merciful Christ, but only with his own strengths. And how did he ended? He went mad.
When we look at the mountain on the Lord, we hear as well: “Blessed are you, because yours is the kingdom of heaven.” If we accept this gift, we have everything. “You are always with me, and all mine is yours,” said the father to his son in the Gospel parable. Father did not want to keep nothing for himself; he gave us all, even His Son. Therefore, we can be poor in spirit that means free and detached, the last in the row and humble, because it is all ours. Blessed are we if we accept this gift! We will not be showing us by our virtues, but by God’s gifts.
Meditation – thinking
About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:
- Jesus calls me to let him take my burdens, worries, to be able to do something from them. What do I let him take, which burden does He want to take on?
- I take one of the meditations or one day and again say my gratitude for the God’s gifts. Do I recognize and give thanks for them.
- The biggest battlefield in the world is in our hearts. Which doubts in the promises of God are they taking me away? Where is God calling me to give myself to him and trust him, that He already brings the God’s gifts?
In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)
Contemplation – Quiet moment with God
Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.
Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…
When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action)
Prayer at the end
God the Father, you are calling me to let go and trust that you will take care of everything. Although something seem small and insignificant, You are already using it, and it will show itself as a great gift for people, also for me. I ask You for the refinement of the senses to perceive the Holy Spirit’ whispering to me, for Thy gifts and so inviting me to actions that are full of your love.
Review of my prayer meditation or reflection
This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:
- How was I feeling when I started praying?
- What happened during the prayer?
- What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
- How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
- What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
- How did I finish my prayer?
- What did I receive for my everyday life?
- In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
- Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.
Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si